Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
31 October 2021
Service available on Youtube, or as text (below), or for audio see the Podcasts page.
We have so much to praise, thank, and worship the Lord for; let’s continue to do so!
After Colson had served his prison sentence for his part in the Watergate break-in and cover up, he was racked with doubts about his faith and Christianity, even though he had surrendered to God in the best way he knew. He could not get the phrase “Jesus Christ is God” out of his mind and spent the next week studying the Bible. During this time he made much spiritual progress in his understanding of Christianity, even being able to articulate a prayer, telling Jesus he believed in Him and asked Him into His life as Lord and Saviour. He immediately sensed God’s comfort, knew he was born-again and could now face life with Christ in a totally new and reformed way. Amen.
Reading: Romans 1:16-17
The righteous will live by faith.Romans 1:17
God has no plan B, it was always His intention that the righteous will live by faith cf. Abraham (Genesis 15:6), and our text originating in Habakkuk (written around 612 BC).
(1) The cost of spiritual blessing
To gain spiritual blessing is always costly! Think of the supreme example that cost Jesus everything, e.g. leaving the glory of heaven to dwell here on earth; the agony of Gethsemane; the utter physical pain of the cross, and the spiritual abandonment and separation from His Father (Matt. 27:46). But look what this costly act achieved, eternal salvation for the world, for all who believe in Him! Interestingly, our text, “the righteous will live by faith”, taken from Habakkuk 2:4, is quoted three times in the NT, here and in Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38. It was costly for Habakkuk to receive this revelation, the cost of living the life of a prophet in those days as many were martyred; the agonies of soul he went through e.g. as an upright and righteous man living amongst a wicked people (cf. 2 Peter 2:7-8); the burden of interceding to the Lord. But truly it was all worth it and we are all beneficiaries of the revelation he received that “The righteous will live by faith”.
(2) The righteous and the unrighteous contrasted
in Habakkuk the unrighteous are puffed up, rely on their own strength and abilities, are arrogant, self-sufficient, and follow their own evil desires. This is contrasted with the righteous person whose faith is completely anchored in the Lord, trusting in the Lord with all their heart (cf. Prov. 3:5-6). We are not saved by good works but by the free gift of God received by faith (cf. Eph. 2:8). Likewise we are justified by that same faith (Rom. 3:21-24).
(3) We are called to live entirely by faith
As well as being saved and justified by faith, we are called to live by faith from first to last, that is entirely by faith, every moment of every day, trusting in the Lord with our whole heart and not relying on our own insights, but in all our ways acknowledging Him and He will sort things out. This will be seen in the things we do, faith in action, which is what James stresses about the character of true faith, such will be seen in our works. We are not saved by our works but we are saved to work, because we are God’s workmanship, created anew to do good works which He has prepared for us to do (Eph. 2:8-10). Let’s keep trusting in Him and doing His works.
Questions for Discussion
- How has your understanding of the OT changed over the years?
- Share a spiritual blessing you received, or others received, that was costly to yourself?
- Share some of the problems you have with evil people? How should we relate to them?
- In what areas of your life can you improve on living by faith?
Quote of the week
“Justification is not a reward for observing the law, but a declaration by God in favour of those who have faith in His Son.”
C. G. Kruse
Verse of week
Do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded.Heb. 10:35
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your amazing gift of righteousness, that we now stand righteous in Your sight. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit living in us giving us the understanding of these great truths. Father, reveal Your Son to this lost world. Let us see again days of great blessing, of the gospel being the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ, Amen.